Drug dealer beaten at NBA star's home?

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Drug dealer beaten at NBA star's home?

From Comcast SportsNet Thursday, August 24, 2011

WEST LINN, Ore. (AP) -- A man who went to the Oregon home of Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph to sell marijuana said he was beaten with a pool cue in a dispute over the price of pot.

The man told sheriff's deputies at least three men assaulted him but Randolph was not among them. No arrests have been made, and authorities said none were expected on Monday.

Police identified the victim as 26-year-old James Beasley of Portland.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Sgt. James Rhodes said Randolph was in his home outside Portland when the beating occurred early Saturday. Beasley was treated for head and face injuries and released from a hospital later that afternoon, when he called police, Rhodes said.

Officers served a search warrant early Sunday. They spoke with 10 people in the home at the time and recovered pool cues and blood evidence. They did not find drugs in the home.

Rhodes said the evidence "was consistent with the victim's statement about where and how he was assaulted," and authorities were trying to figure out who was involved in the assault.

The victim told officers that he recognized Randolph and was certain he wasn't involved in the beating, but he didn't know the names of the people who assaulted him.

The victim said there were about 20 people at Randolph's home at the time.

Rhodes said detectives will probably ask Beasley to pick the suspects from a line up.

Randolph has not spoken to the officers based on the advice of his lawyer, Rhodes said. He didn't know the lawyer's name.

Attempts to reach Randolph have been unsuccessful. Nobody answered the intercom system at his gated home in West Linn on Monday. Two sport-utility vehicles drove away, and their occupants did not stop to speak with a reporter from The Associated Press.

The Grizzlies declined to comment.

There was no listed phone number for Beasley.

Randolph averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds per game with Memphis last season. He was drafted in 2001 by the Portland Trail Blazers and played there six seasons before being traded to New York. He was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, then to Memphis in 2009.

The Grizzlies signed Randolph to a four-year contract extension in April during the first-round of the playoffs. He became only their second All-Star during the 2009-10 season.

Randolph's past troubles also have included an arrest for driving under the influence of intoxicants after a police officer said he smelled marijuana in Randolph's car and a practice fight in which he broke former teammate Ruben Patterson's eye socket.

In 2009, he was suspended for two games for punching a Phoenix Suns player.

Does uncertainty for Carson Smith mean Red Sox need bullpen help?

Does uncertainty for Carson Smith mean Red Sox need bullpen help?

BOSTON — Tyler Thornburg’s gone for the season and there’s really no telling when the other set-up man the Sox expected to help in 2017, Carson Smith, will be back.

The Sox have already made inroads, if minor ones, in bolstering their third-base situation and rotation. Smith’s situation leaves a question of whether the Sox will need to pursue help in the bullpen as well.

There's not an easy answer to settle on at this point.

For one, the timetable with the right-hander Smith — whose shoulder has bothered him on the way back from Tommy John surgery — isn’t clear.

“He's in a no-throw [time] through the weekend,” Sox manager John Farrell said Friday afternoon at Fenway Park. “He'll be reevaluated on Monday to hopefully initiate a throwing program. He's responding favorably to the treatment. He continues to rehab as he's been. We have not closed the book in a sense on anything Carson can contribute this year.”

What does this year mean, though? Will they be able to know by July, by the trade deadline?

“Still too early to tell,” Farrell said. “We thought he was days from starting his rehab assignment after his last live BP session in New York [on June 6]. Unfortunately, that was put on hold for the time being. To get into any kind of timeframes, timetables, I don't know that any of us can predict that right now.”

The Sox relievers have done extraordinarily well without either Thornburg or Smith. Can that continue without reinforcements? The bullpen’s ERA entering Friday was 2.94, the second best mark in the majors. Its innings total, 217, was the second. lowest in the majors. 

So it’s not like the entire group is about to collapse from fatigue. But a guy like Joe Kelly, for example, isn’t someone the Sox want to use back to back.

It’s a young group and ultimately an inexperienced group. But Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has already fallen into the trap of trading for premium set-up men twice, and that’s a dangerous road to pursue again. Perhaps a smaller trade makes more sense.

“Well, at this point, we’re open minded to help,” Dombrowski said when asked if he was targeting either third-base or relief help. “I’m not going to get into specifics at this time on what else we’re looking for. Keep an open mind on a lot of ways on which we can improve. We have guys coming back and both the spots, I think Carson Smith is very important to us and our bullpen has pitched great. The other day, we struggled but that was one of the few times we really struggled all year. 

“I think Carson still has a chance to come back and help us this year.”

 

Pedroia returns

Dustin Pedroia (ribcage) was out of the initial Red Sox lineup on Friday but was later added. Farrell said in the afternoon that Pedroia would be available by emergency Fridayand expected to be back in the lineup Saturday, but clearly, something changed.

Blake Griffin opts out of Clippers contract, becoming free agent

Blake Griffin opts out of Clippers contract, becoming free agent

According to multiple reports, Blake Griffin has opted out of his contract with the Clippers, making him a free agent. 

Griffin is considered one of the top free agents in a class that will also include Utah’s Gordon Hayward. The Celtics have been reported as possible suitors for both players. 

The first overall pick in the 2009 draft, the 28-year-old Griffin is a five-time All-Star, though injuries have limited him over the last three seasons. 

Over 61 games, the 6-foot-10 power forward averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game last season. Between numerous injuries and a suspension for hitting a member of the Clippers’ equipment staff, Griffin was limited to just 31 games in the 2015-16 season. 

Adrian Wojnarowski said recently that Boston’s reception for Clippers teammate Paul Pierce made a very strong impression on Griffin. Though there might not necessarily be a connection between the two, Griffin said on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” that Boston is on his Mt. Rushmore of NBA cities.